Why I Believe Music Will Save Us (Part 1)
Finally! The perfect title for a blog about the intersection of music therapy and trauma informed care. Nailed it.
Now the hard part: communicating my passionate belief that music is the art form that can bring people together, creating a safe space for relationship building and a feeling of belonging. You know those head to toe chills that tell you you’ve just experienced something life changing? I get those when I’m leading a group of people through a Common Time. I get those when I read new research that helps me understand more deeply why this is working. And I want everyone to know about it.
Hi. I’m Betsey. I’m a board certified music therapist, licensed special educator and a musician. Eleven years ago I founded Melodic Connections, a 501c3 music therapy-based non profit that connects people through intentional use of live music. When I was young I could be seen dancing to the 11th version of “Uptown Girl” by Billy Joel at my dance studio recital. I could also be seen organizing and directing the neighborhood musical variety show from the stage set on my sandbox cover. In high school I was just as passionate about my position in the All State Orchestra (I played the oboe) as I was about my role as “Marian the Librarian” in The Music Man. In college I wanted to try to find a way to make a career out of generating these feelings for others (and, if I’m totally honest, for myself too). I have always loved music, I love performing. But what I love just as much are the rehearsals and all of the reasons that people gather to play music together. As an oboist in an orchestra I learned it was more important to make sure the harmonies blended with perfect intonation so that the flautist’s solo soared above the strings and out to the audience. This is what made my soul soar, giving me head to toe chills.
Many people say that music is a metaphor for the way we build and nurture great relationships. As though it is an add on, something to use as a comparison to help us better understand. I believe that music is a catalyst for building and nurturing great relationships. It is not representative of what happens, but rather when used a certain way it can be the fulcrum for building and nurturing great relationships. Relationships are about attunement and resulting attachment through great communication, and communication does not always mean spoken word.
So if you are passionate about building relationships or you know in your soul that music unlocks our potential for connecting, come along! Let’s explore together, you and I.